How to Annoy People Using SoundCloud

SoundCloud is probably the best SaaS (Software as a Service) platform available to musicians to date. It is easy to use and widely accepted by music creators and music lovers alike.

But with every good thing comes an annoying a$$hole though.

At one point on this blog, I posted the “song submission” widget in the sidebar. It generated no interest, so I removed it. No big deal, it just did not seem that artists were actively sharing their songs that way.

If music bloggers were smarter, they would demand songs be sent to them via SoundCloud. I’m digressing though.

Recently, I had noticed a weird trend in my email alerts from SoundCloud. I was magically receiving a lot of followers when I was barely using the service.

It was not until I noticed the same individual was following me multiple times that I decided to investigate.

Gmail Account Packed with SoundCloud Alerts

Now the above image is hard to see, but it shows the dubious activity that triggered me to look into my recent popularity.

I do not know who “Fista Cuffs” is, but I must admit I was intrigued. I did not expect anything worthwhile, but I expected to at least get a good chuckle at his or her expense.

Then I noticed “Fista Cuffs” sent me a private track. Curious. What did I do to deserve such a treat?

Fista Cuffs SoundCloud Private Track

Wait. I am not special. This was sent to 10872 people. What are the odds that this person actually knows even 1% of these people?

My guess is 10873 to 1.

Of course, I realized what this was. It reminds me of the #TEAMFOLLOWBACK movement on Twitter. I was being conjoled into boosting this person’s social stats on a platform that wants to encourage the sharing of music, not the spamming of content.

I am not going for that. Never have; never will.

It was not until I decided to work on this blog post that I take the time to actually review the private track I was sent.

Fista Cuffs Song Not Available

Turns out “Fista Cuffs” is no longer on SoundCloud. Kudos SoundCloud!

Moral to the Story

Being an annoying a$$hole will not get you far in life. You might achieve some minor gains, but long-term you will lose. If you are truly trying to build a music career, take your time and build relationships the old-fashioned way. “Hi. My name is Lars Ulrich and I am the drummer in a band called Metallica. I love music. How about you?”

In order to get to the 1000 true fans, there are no magic tricks available. It takes time, hard work and dedication.

Numbers do not matter, if they are not actionable. If you cannot get 10% of 100 to do your bidding, what is the point? An email list is only as strong as the open rate.

You cannot game your way into being successful. It is not good to speak in definitives, so here is an exception. You can game towards success, but it is not likely you will have a stress-free life and/or have many real friends in the process. Keep that in mind.

Stop chasing numbers and stick to chasing your dreams. Who really fantasizes about having 30,000 Twitter followers or 5000 SoundCloud listens? If you do, leave me a note in the comments. I want to talk to you.

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Simple Content Strategy for Musicians

Visualization of the various routes through a ...
Image via Wikipedia

I want to thank Saron “Sean Uppercut of Detroit CYDI” Dier for the inspiration of this piece.

Music. Marketing. Social Media. Twitter. Facebook. YouTube. Blogging. RSS feeds. Viral. Insert buzzword here.

When taking the plunge into the sinkhole that is Internet, it will get overwhelming if you are not properly equipped. You need a map, a flashlight and possibly a hard hat.

This does not mean there is not an easier way to deal with the inevitable evil that is marketing your music online. You just need to learn how to simplify things, so without further ado, let’s get to the advice you came to get.

If you plan to have a music career, then you need to consider this simple content strategy for musicians when approaching your craft. Now depending on where you are in your creative process, you may be able to skip a few stages.

Note: this is more of a plan than an actual strategy. Going through these stages though will help you plot a proper strategy when it comes time to marketing the music and supplementary content that you make because of it. Continue reading “Simple Content Strategy for Musicians”

Stop, COLLABORATE and Listen

Vanilla IceThe world may make fun of Vanilla Ice, but he was ahead of his time with the epic first line of his biggest hit “Ice Ice Baby.”  In true academic fashion though, a deeper analysis of this statement may show that the phrasing is arranged in the wrong order, at least it may not be the most effective method to getting things accomplished.  Before one can really collaborate, you must be open to listening first.  How else could one really produce a collaborative work otherwise? The likelihood that the work will be anything of merit is not very high.

One of the goals for Detroit CYDI (the hip hop group that I manage) this year is to do get involved in more collaborative projects.  While for the average music artist, collaboration would just mean working another musician or vocalist.  As their manager, I will be looking to help them with that, along with seeking opportunities with visual artists, lifestyle brands and other parties that would prove to be mutually beneficial.

It is always best to listen first before going to work.

Continue reading “Stop, COLLABORATE and Listen”